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The CW was noted for being the first nation to adopt democracy on such a scale. Very similar to Greece's democratic city-states, the Commonwealth had made a number of improvements to the system to make dealing with hundreds of cities each electing representatives more manageable. The Commonwealth's leadership was elected in mass voting. Like Rome, political parties were not permitted in the constitution. Slavery was abolished and the penal colonies were converted or demolished. Most of those freed were given easy citizenship to the Commonwealth and were a strong resource in making expansions and establishing population centres in the west. The first settlements on the west coast were established in 1680(927). The Commonwealth's territory reached the northern parts of the west coast before the south primarily because of the greater resistance of the aboriginal tribes further south. Although they were eventually subsumed as well, these groups exhibited more territoriality against settlers from the east, resulting in a greater population concentration to the north and autonomy for the south. As gold was not discovered in Fortussita until the early 22nd century, population pressure from the north and east remained only strong enough to agitate the indigenous inhabitants. The southern coast would remain a half-hearted member of the Commonwealth with the lowest density of Latin decedents, contributing to the rebellion of the south in the Commonwealth Civil War 1884-90(1131-7).
Due to the sparse populations, Roman and later Commonwealth provinces in Terranova were exceptionally large.
The Commonwealth of Terranova was the first nation to exhibit conisma (nationalism), its emergence was result of its desire to distance itself from Rome, build a cultural national resistance should Rome return, and to develop a unique identity. Although it was successful in maintaining unity during its extensive expansions, Commonwealth nationalism failed to make the former territories too expensive for Rome to control.
Before the anti-aboriginal campaigns, natives were far more numerous and autonomous in comparison to OTL levels of today. In the interests of expansion the Commonwealth's leadership had enthusiastically pursued the incorporation or assimilation of aboriginals. As time passed there was the duality of those that integrated with the Latins (for the most part discarding their traditional ways), and those that continued to practice the (semi-/)nomadic lifestyle and cultures. After the persecution however, native groups in the former Commonwealth of Terranova were virtually extinct and those with distant links tended to cover theirs up. It is a touchy subject.